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    17 Miraculous Plants That Prove Nature Is Totally Awesome

    Grass can smile back at you underneath a microscope.

    1. On the island of Socotra, Dragon's Blood Trees grow in an umbrella shape in order to retain moisture from the arid environment and provide shade from the sun in order for the soil and roots to remain healthy below.

    Znm / Getty Images

    Oh, and the name? It comes from the tree's blood-red sap!

    2. Tasmania's coastline glows blue due to a "sea sparkle" effect that's actually caused by microscopic blue algae.

    Wan Ru Chen / Getty Images

    The teeny-tiny plant organisms actually emit this dreamy blue light as their defense mechanism.

    3. Blades of certain types of grass can look like yellow happy face emojis when viewed by microscope.

    Dr Phil Gates / Via

    The above photo of a leaf of marram grass was taken with a Leitz fluorescence microscope in 1984!


    4. The Rafflesia Arnoldii not only looks like a cartoon prop out of Honey I Shrunk The Kids, but it's the largest single flowering plant in the world.

    Fadil Aziz / Getty Images

    The parasitic flower can weigh up to fifteen pounds and grow up to three feet wide. So while it may actually look like a movie prop, it emits a pretty foul odor so you might not want to approach.

    5. Edible pods of water made from seaweed could be the end to plastic waste.

    Skipping Rocks Lab / Via

    These completely edible pods are biodegradable within 4 - 6 weeks and could potentially put an end to plastic bottles of water. Skipping Rocks Lab (the company developing these) call it "water you can eat."

    6. Emtomopathic fungi β€” aka mushrooms that kill insects β€” could be nature's answer to using chemical pesticides.

    Peter Garner / Getty Images

    According to mycologist Paul Stamets, when insects consume the mycelium fungus, they become mummified and eventually sprout a mushrooms out of their bodies. He believes this to be a major disruptor in the pesticide industry.

    7. When touched, the Mimosa Pudica β€” aka "Shy Plant" or "Sensitive Plant" β€” goes limp and its leaves fold up as protection. / Via

    Unfortunately for them, humans will keep messing with their unique defense mechanism until we get bored.

    8. Gingko Biloba trees are so strong and durable that even though their branches burned off when the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, the trees bloomed again the very next spring.

    Laurance B. Aiuppy / Getty Images

    They also do really well in urban areas, so don't be surprised if you see these "Maidenhair Trees" in big cities.

    9. The Night Sky Petunia looks like it's been plucked straight from the cosmos.

    Buffy1982 / Getty Images

    Would 100% hop in a spaceship with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and take a trip through this mini-galaxy.

    10. The Victoria Amazonica β€” gigantic lily pads originating from the Amazon jungle β€” are so big that animals and small humans can stand on them.

    Videowok_art / Getty Images

    They can grow up to ten feet wide and can support up to a hundred or so pounds.

    11. The Lithops variety of succulents look the way they do because they evolved to blend in with their rocky environment.

    Visuals Unlimited, Inc. / Getty Images

    They're referred to as "Living Stones" for a reason.

    12. The Romanesco Cauliflower grows in perfect Fibonacci spirals.

    Enrique Díaz / Getty Images

    These fractal-y vegetables can be cooked in the same way you'd prepare any cauliflower β€”Β and it tastes the same, too!

    13. The Welwitschia is considered to be a LIVING FOSSIL and lives anywhere from 400 to 2,000 years.

    Photograph By Michael Schwab / Getty Images

    You won't find these anywhere but the Namib desert, though!

    14. Wolffia β€” the world's smallest flowering plant β€” also boasts one of the most rapid reproduction rates among vegetables.

    Danita Delimont / Getty Images

    Yes, these little plants can be eaten by humans, insects, and animals alike.

    15. Palm trees bend, not break, during high-intensity winds and hurricanes due to their sponge-y inside and malleable cell structure.

    Kirsten Fenton / Getty Images

    Unlike other trees, the palm does not grow rings inside of it.

    16. This tiny fern is able to capture nitrogen in the air and convert it to something that plants can actually use.

    Wikipedia Commons / Via

    Growing a large amount of this fern may help the environment by "soaking up" excess carbon dioxide.

    17. And finally, the Strelitzia Reginae plant look like birds.

    Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty Images, Juvenal Passos / Getty Images

    So much, in fact, that this plant has earned the name "Birds of Paradise" throughout the world. Admit it: you see the resemblance, too.

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